Good morning y’all !
It’s Sunday fun day and we are finally having a bit of sunshine here, after a month of poo-poo grey cold weather, woohoo ! I thought winter would never end, and God knows how much I hate the cold ! But now that spring has finally sprung, I have to manage bad allergies and asthma, which is something relatively new, since three years ago (I love Hong Kong). Right now I am dealing with 100% blocked nose and swollen throat and this is terribly annoying for someone like who loves food like me because food has no taste and I am constantly debating whether I should eat or breathe. The cruel dilemma is eventually sorted out with ‘apnea-eating’ : inhaling deeply, shoveling all the food I can in my mouth and exhaling/coughing. And repeat. Sounds fun right ?
Luckily, in two weeks time, I will be in Tahitiiiiiiii where everything smells like sunshine, suntan lotion and exotic wedding party. And it’s gonna aaaalll alright.
What was not alright though was that yesterday I went to my hairdresser and asked for my usual summer hair color in preparation for the vacation. He then told me about this new color that would look great on me, to which I said ‘alright’… I should have known better it wouldn’t be alright. I should have stuck with my usual hair color that we have perfected over the years. After the blow-dry he said ‘do you like it?’, ‘errrr no I don’t’. My hair had highlights of green and grey and this wasn’t what we agreed on. I remained composed as they were fixing it and we both concluded that we should stick with the usual.
But who cares? Probably nobody but me. And it’s fiiiiiine. Green hair, don’t care ! Tahiti in two weeks !!! (I need a break).
As I am typing this post, I am snacking (in apnea) on my addictive homemade granola clusters. I make my own granola for many reasons –
1/ I have many food allergies and I must know what is in my plate
2/ You won’t believe how much sugar there is in those supposedly ‘healthy’ store-bought cereals
3/ Because I used to buy the kind that has a bit of clusters but there are never enough of them. I just like the clusters and so I pick all of them int he box and leave the rest. It’s like the Lucky Charms cereals (back then when I was eating chemical hazard food), I only picked the charms and would leave the actual cereals. Sugar power !
4/ Because you can have whatever you want in your homemade granola, hell yeah !
I’m thinking, if I’m having carbs, better to have the good ones ; so I mixed rolled oats with quinoa, used an egg and coconut oil as the binder and a combo of maple syrup and coconut syrup as sweeteners (I love them both and I wanted them both in my recipe). Both of them have low GIs. Also, coconut syrup is very sticky so it can be used as the binder instead of the egg if you want a vegan option, and it adds a great coconut smell to it.
Then from here you can add literally whatever you like. I added coca powder, semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. You can also add nuts, dried fruits and seeds. Easy though on the nuts and dried fruits if you are watching your calorie intake 🙂 There are lots of recipes these days using coconut oil but coconut syrup is not as mainstream so if you have purchased coconut syrup and have no clue of how to use it, you are in the right place 🙂
Mix everything in a bowl (5 minutes, including gathering and measuring the ingredients), lay the mixture on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. The hardest part is to let it rest for an hour before breaking it into pieces and eating it. They are great for breakfast with yogurt and fruits or as a guilt-free treat. They are also much much cheaper than what you will buy at the health convenience stores. The recipe yields about 4 cups of granola clusters which is plenty and they also keep for long (one month) if stored in an air-tight container or jar. But I doubt you would give them even a week. I dare you ! I just finished a small jar and I’m going for a refill. Buh-bye !
- 2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free for gluten-free option)
- 1 cup quinoa
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup peanut butter chips
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg (omit for vegan option)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup coconut syrup
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 170C
- In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly and spread evenly on the baking tray.
- Bake on the bottom rack (for a small oven) or third rack from the bottom (for a regular-size oven) for 30-35 minutes then let it cool for an hour.
- Break into pieces and store in a jar for up to a month